Jubel Hussain talks about how he arrived at his current role, and the change from education to studio.
My first experience into the world of design and the construction industry was before the commencement of my undergrad. I was able to secure a placement working alongside The Construction Youth Trust. This was a steppingstone to experience first-hand the variety of roles and sectors within the built environment. As this was not tailored to a singular role, I decided to move towards a career choice that would benefit from being exposed to all these different levels and stages of construction. Initially, a path towards engineering was gaining potential, through working alongside The Construction Youth Trust, yet I personally felt more inclined to work within an industry that explored creative design and practices. My move to Architecture was initially daunting, but I soon found a career path that was both rewarding and fulfilling, playing to my aptitude for design and creativity.
As an undergraduate, I felt more freedom in the designs I had conceived and was given the opportunity to let my creativity run wild. The purpose of the assignments was for students to challenge the norms and it was up to my own interpretation to take this brief and design a completely unique structure that was not only aesthetically pleasing but needed to also utilise key architectural principles. Education was able to give me a solid foundation and the skills required but applying it to the real world proved to be more of a challenge. My degree is unique (being dual accredited), as it comprised the planning aspects as well as the architecture. This served in my benefit as I was able to pursue multiple career paths without being limited to one field. I was able to secure a Part 1 position at Clear Architects that offered both disciplines, with my degree serving as a good baseline. As a Part 1, I predominately shadow senior architects whilst gaining vital experience within the RIBA stage of work. The move to the world of work was a big culture shock and has been challenging at times. Getting used to working with clients’ briefs, working alongside the team, as well as frequent deadlines was tough at first, since these aren’t skills you’re taught. However, I am thankful for the challenges put in place as it has helped prepare me for the future.
My advice to architectural students who are unsure of where to place their energy and hard work after education is that the beauty of architecture is you don’t have to choose. I strongly recommend diversifying your skillset and letting yourself work out which part of this industry you really love. If you’re lucky, you’ll also end up in a team like ours that can support and inspire you as you grow professionally.